This tax strategy has been prepared in accordance with requirements detailed at paragraph 19(2) Schedule 19 Finance Act 2016. This statement is applicable to the tax strategy of the Puratos Group in the United Kingdom for the financial year ending 31 December 2016.
Puratos is an international group offering a full range of innovative products, raw materials and application expertise to the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. The Group is headquartered just outside Brussels (Belgium), where the company was founded in 1919. Our products and services are available in over 100 countries around the world and, in many cases, are produced by our network of local subsidiaries. Above all, we aim to be ‘reliable partners in innovation’, helping our customers around the world to deliver nutritious and tasty food to their local communities.
Our tax strategy, as set out by the Board of Directors and summarised below, is founded on our core corporate values as defined globally by Puratos NV. These include commitment to integrity to ensure efficient, sound and transparent management together with a commitment to thorough compliance with respect to laws, societal norms, and ethics.
Puratos’ approach to tax planning
The Group’s Tax guidelines refer to the need for all tax planning measures to be in compliance with local laws, international agreements and importantly align to Group’s commercial objectives. We are committed to ensuring that our tax strategy is aligned with business and commercial strategy and that tax planning opportunities are evaluated within clear risk parameters and reflect the Group’s existing internal governance and compliance policies.
Tax planning at Puratos must be approved by the Group board. External tax advisers are employed to provide assistance with regard to certain tax matters and would consult with HM Revenue and Customs where appropriate to obtain certainty of treatment.
Puratos’ approach to risk management and governance
In the UK, tax is managed by the local finance team who oversee tax risk management and deal with day-to-day tax issues. Escalation mechanisms have been developed to ensure that the Group’s board gains visibility of any significant tax risks which are identified either at Group or entity level. The team will seek professional advice on tax matters where needed to support the knowledge of the local team. Effective business partnering with our external tax specialists also plays a key role in the early identification of tax risk.
Managing the UK’s tax affairs is a complex process across many functional areas of the business and as such there will inevitably be risks of error or omission within those processes which may result in the incorrect application of tax rules or calculation of tax returns. The level of tax risk the company is prepared to accept is low, but the company recognises that eliminating tax risks entirely is impossible. Where there is uncertainty in how the relevant tax law should be applied, external advice will be sought to support the company’s decision making process.
Due consideration will be given to Puratos’ reputation, brand and corporate and social responsibilities when considering tax initiatives, as well as applicable legal and fiduciary duties of directors and employees of the UK Group and will form part of the overall decision making and risk assessment process.
Relationships with HMRC
Puratos is committed to the principles of openness and transparency in its approach to dealing with HMRC and in particular the Group commits to: